Challenge 12 - quería usted

In challenge 12 we are asked to say:- “I didn’t know what you wanted.”

The answer was:-
“No sabía lo que quería usted.”

Could you explain why it is said “lo que quería usted” and not “lo que usted quería”?

My initial reaction was to put the usted before the quería, not afterwards, because it’s not a question. I’m interested to know why it’s No sabía lo que quería usted in this case.

Many thanks!

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Interesting question - maybe @gabycortinas can give us some insight! [But worth remembering that if you said ‘lo que usted quería’ you’d be understood without any problem - so it’s the kind of thing that really you fine tune through usage… :slight_smile:

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Natalie: It’s because the normal subject-verb order in Spanish is typically reversed in a subordinate clause, just like it is in a question. In this sentence, “No sabía” is the main clause, and “lo que quería usted” is a subordinate (or dependent) clause. Another way of looking at it in this case is that the subordinate clause is sort of an embedded question. It’s like “I didn’t know: What did you want?” That way you can see how it’s similar to what you learned about reversing the subject-verb order in a question. But that “rule” is not absolutely mandatory, and like Aran said, people will understand you either way.
Karen B.